How To Make A Homemade Carpet Cleaner For Pet Urine

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homemade carpet cleaner for pet urine

Do you need to know how to make a homemade carpet cleaner for pet urine? There are several ways to clean out urine stains quickly, and fortunately, it’s an easy process.

Key Takeaways

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Mix equal warm water and vinegar with a tablespoon baking soda for each cup.
  • Mix and spray onto the soiling. Wait, and blot with towels or cloth.
  • Always test your cleaner on a spot out of view first to ensure it works!
  • Vinegar may not work on very old or deep stains. You may need an enzyme cleaner for these marks.
  • You could also use a UV backlight to ensure you’re cleaning up all the stains.

A Simple, Easy Recipe for Homemade Carpet Cleaner for Pet Urine

  • To make homemade carpet cleaner for pet urine, mix equal parts vinegar and warm water, then add one tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of liquid.
  • Mix thoroughly, then spray the solution onto the soiled area, wait 10 minutes, and blot it up with paper towels or a cleaning cloth.

What is the Golden Rule for Cleaners?

Cat sleeping on carpet

Before you clean anything, make sure to test your cleaner on an inconspicuous spot. If possible, do this before you need to use your cleaner. Even common cleaners like vinegar may react poorly if you pour them on the wrong flooring material, so it’s better to test everything before you start using it.

We prefer testing in corners and areas that are probably going to be covered by furniture, regardless of who’s living or working in the area. Areas with poor lighting are also good candidates for spot testing.

BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner, 2458
Best Portable Choice for Cleaning Carpet:
  • Powerful suction
  • Cleans pet stains and tough stains
  • Versatile: cleans carpets, upholstery and auto interiors
  • Featured by Household Advice as Best Buy of 2023

What is the Science Behind the Natural Cleaner?

Vinegar is an outstanding cleaning material for getting rid of urine stains, especially those created by pets. The key to its cleaning properties comes from the way it can destroy naturally-occurring ammonia found in urine. When this happens, it neutralizes the odor and helps to kill lingering bacteria. This particular mixture is most effective when the stain is still fresh.

Pro Tip: Remember to always have patience when dealing with pet urine stains. They can be persistent, but with the right steps, they can be removed. Don’t be dismayed if the stain doesn’t vanish immediately post the first application. Repeat the process a few times if needed.

If the stain is particularly resilient, you may need to clean it several times. This is normal, especially for older stains, so don’t worry if the stain doesn’t come out right away. Sometimes it just takes a little extra time. If you still see or smell something after four or five rounds of cleaning, it’s time to kick it up a notch.

The baking soda is helpful for absorbing odors and acts as a supplement for the vinegar. This is why many people put cartons of baking soda in the fridge and change them regularly. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it’s effective – the perfect combination for a homemade cleaner.

I Need Something Stronger Than the Vinegar Solution

I’m sorry, but I have some bad news for you – if the stain is too old or too deep, homemade solutions aren’t going to be enough. Several rounds of cleaning is typically enough for most stains, but if it’s too deep, you’ll need to find an enzyme cleaner.

If you’re not familiar with these, you’re not alone. Enzyme cleaners aren’t discussed very often, but they’re some of the most powerful pet-safe cleaners on the market, and some of them are capable of getting rid of stains that are years old. If you’re planning to sell your house or just want something that works, research your current options, and find a product from a company you trust.

I Don’t Have Vinegar! Are There Any Other Homemade Cleaners I Can Use?

Dog sitting on carpet

Of course! A vinegar solution works for most people, but if you don’t have a large container on hand – and you should if you’re raising pets that can go anywhere in your house – there are a few other options.

The first alternative is to use dry baking soda, which is particularly helpful when the stain is fresh. Sprinkle the baking soda over the stain until it’s about half an inch thick, then let it sit for 15 minutes so it can drop and work into the carpet. Afterward, clean it with a scrub brush, then gently follow it up with water or a mild cleaning solution.

If you have white carpets, you can also try using peroxide. Don’t do this on anything with colors, but you can lay down the baking soda first, then pour hydrogen peroxide over the entire thing. You’ll see a lot of bubbling and fizzling when this happens – don’t worry, that’s normal. This is a chemical reaction that will help kill bacteria and break up the stain.

Let the chemicals work for five minutes, then clean the entire area with a cloth or paper towels.

Pro Tip: If you’re turning to this solution because commercial cleaners have failed you in the past, keep in mind that it’s all about how you use the solution. You need to really let the solution soak into the carpet fibers to be most effective, don’t rush the blotting process. The more thorough you are, the better the results will be.

How Can I Make Sure I’m Getting All the Stains?

Unless you want to smell literally every part of your house, consider investing in a UV blacklight. These are widely available in pet stores and can help you find dry urine spots or stains that are simply too hard to see normally. We strongly recommend these for one, simple reason: It’s hard to clean a stain if you don’t know where it is!

UV lights are most effective in low-lighting conditions, so be sure to lower shades and prowl for stains during the early morning or evening hours. Otherwise, you may end up missing stains.

If you would rather have a machine do the work for you there are carpet cleaning machines specialised for pets and pet hair. They come with pet hair trappers and deodorising solutions so you can have a fresh smelling carpet without pet hair.

How Can I Prevent Repeat Stains?

Prevent Repeat Stains

Cleaning up stains is good, but if you’re not careful, pets may return to mark the area again.

Pro Tip: In my experience, an easy way to prevent repeat stains, apart from using lemon scents to deter pets, could be relocating your pet’s litter box or food bowl to the previously stained area. Pets often avoid doing their business near where they eat

How you should deter this depends on the type of pet you have, so there’s no universal solution.That said, lemon scents are usually effective at deterring cats who might otherwise try to re-mark an area with fresh urine to claim it as their own.

BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner, 2458
Best Portable Choice for Cleaning Carpet:
  • Powerful suction
  • Cleans pet stains and tough stains
  • Versatile: cleans carpets, upholstery and auto interiors
  • Featured by Household Advice as Best Buy of 2023

Keeping the lemon smell fresh for a few days should deter cats and encourage them to use their litter box instead.Don’t forget to look for other causes. Old litter, stale food, parasites, or medical problems could all encourage pets to stain your carpet, so try to isolate the purpose of their behavior as soon as you can.

There may not be any apparent factors, or even any reasons beyond a pet wanting to mark their territory, so don’t worry too much if you can’t find out why they’re staining things.

Consider talking to a vet if your pet continually stains areas and there aren’t any problems with their usual relieving areas. Most pets will stain carpets or wood floors a few times throughout their life, but frequent (or even daily) staining usually means there’s an underlying problem.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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